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Technical Paper

Advanced Analysis Methods and Nondestructive Inspection Technology Under Development in the NASA Airframe Structural Integrity Program

An advanced analytical methodology has been developed for predicting the residual strength of stiffened thin-sheet riveted shell structures such as those used for the fuselage of a commercial transport aircraft. The crack-tip opening angle elastic-plastic fracture criterion has been coupled to a geometric and material nonlinear finite element shell code for analyzing complex structural behavior. An automated adaptive mesh refinement capability together with global-local analysis methods have been developed to predict the behavior of fuselage structure with long cracks. This methodology is currently being experimentally verified. Advanced nondestructive inspection technology has been developed that will provide airline operators with the capability to conduct reliable and economical broad-area inspections of aircraft structures.
Technical Paper

New NASA Transport Research Facilities to Support Research Flight Operations in Present and Future ATC Environments

The NASA Langley Research Center is developing a set of Transport Research Facilities which will support a simulation-to-flight process that will improve the efficiency of conducting experiments from concept development, to ground-based simulation testing, to flight testing. A key facility is a modified B-757-200 airplane containing an onboard research system. This aircraft is replacing the existing NASA B-737-100 Transport Systems Research Vehicle. The other Transport Research Facilities include two simulator cabs, a Research System Integration Laboratory, and the associated software. These facilities will support research flight operations associated with the present and future air traffic control environments.
Technical Paper

Application of Temperature Sensitive Paint Technology to Boundary Layer Analysis

Temperature Sensitive Paint (TSP) technology coupled with the Reynolds number capability of modern wind tunnel test facilities produces data required for continuing development of turbulence models, stability codes, and high performance aerodynamic design. Data in this report include: the variation in transition location with Reynolds number in the boundary layer of a two-dimensional high speed natural laminar flow airfoil (HSNLF) model; additional bypass mechanisms present, such as surface roughness elements; and, shock-boundary layer interaction. Because of the early onset of turbulent flow due to surface roughness elements present in testing, it was found that elements from all these data were necessary for a complete analysis of the boundary layer for the HSNLF model.
Technical Paper

Development of Race Car Testing at the Langley Full-Scale Tunnel

This paper reviews the development of a new test capability for race cars at the Langley Full-Scale Tunnel. The existing external force balance of the Langley Full-Scale Tunnel, designed for use with full-scale aircraft, was reconfigured for automobile testing. Details of structural modifications relevant to supporting cars and force measurements are shown. A specialized automobile force balance, measuring vehicle drag and individual wheel downforce, was then designed, constructed and calibrated. The design was governed by simplicity and low cost and was tailored to the stock car racing community. The balance became fully operational in early 1998. The overall layout of the automobile balance and comparisons to reference data from another full-scale wind tunnel is presented.
Technical Paper

Application of Laminar Flow Control to High-Bypass-Ratio Turbofan Engine Nacelles

Recently, the concept of the application of hybrid laminar flow to modern commercial transport aircraft was successfully flight tested on a Boeing 757 aircraft. In this limited demonstration, in which only part of the upper surface of the swept wing was designed for the attainment of laminar flow, significant local drag reduction was measured. This paper addresses the potential application of this technology to laminarize the external surface of large, modern turbofan engine nacelles which may comprise as much as 5-10 percent of the total wetted area of future commercial transports. A hybrid-laminar-fiow-control (HLFC) pressure distribution is specified and the corresponding nacelle geometry is computed utilizing a predictor/corrector design method. Linear stability calculations are conducted to provide predictions of the extent of the laminar boundary layer. Performance studies are presented to determine potential benefits in terms of reduced fuel consumption.
Technical Paper

Fifty Years of Laminar Flow Flight Testing

Laminar flow flight experiments conducted over the past fifty years will be reviewed. The emphasis will be on flight testing conducted under the NASA Laminar Flow Control Program which has been directed towards the most challenging technology application- the high subsonic speed transport. The F111/TACT NLF Glove Flight Test, the F-14 Variable Sweep Transition Flight Experiment, the 757 Wing Noise Survey and NLF Glove Flight Test, the NASA Jetstar Leading Edge Flight Test Program, and the recently initiated Hybrid Laminar Flow Control Flight Experiment will be discussed. To place these recent experiences in perspective, earlier important flight tests will first be reviewed to recall the lessons learned at that time.
Technical Paper

Spin Flight Research Summary

An extensive general aviation stall/spin research program is underway at the NASA Langley Research Center. Flight tests have examined the effects of tail design, wing leading edge design, mass distribution, and minor airframe modifications on spin and recovery characteristics. Results and observations on test techniques are presented for the first airplane in the program. Configuration changes produced spins varying from easily recoverable slow, steep spins to unrecoverable, fast flat spins.
Technical Paper

Egress Testing of the HL-20 Personnel Launch System

Human factors egress testing of the HL-20 Personnel Launch System, a reusable flight vehicle for Space Station crew rotation, was conducted in both the vertical (launch) and horizontal (landing) positions using a full-scale model. Ingress and egress of 10-person crews were investigated with volunteers representing a range of heights. For both the vertical and horizontal positions, interior structural keels had little impact on egress times which were generally less than 30 seconds. Wearing Shuttle partial pressure suits required somewhat more egress time than when ordinary flight suits were worn due to the larger helmet of the Shuttle suit.
Technical Paper

NASA Evaluation of Type II Chemical Depositions

Recent findings from NASA Langley tests to define effects of aircraft Type II chemical deicer depositions on aircraft tire friction performance are summarized. The Aircraft Landing Dynamics Facility (ALDF) is described together with the scope of the tire cornering and braking friction tests conducted up to 160 knots ground speed. Some lower speed 32-96 km/hr (20-60 mph) test run data obtained using an Instrumented Tire Test Vehicle (ITTV) to determine effects of tire bearing pressure and transverse grooving on cornering friction performance are also discussed. Recommendations are made concerning which parameters should be evaluated in future testing.
Technical Paper

The Laminar Separation Sensor: An Advanced Transition Measurement Method for Use in Wind Tunnels and Flight

Current viscous drag reduction research explores the limits of practical applications of natural laminar flow (NLF) for airplane drag reduction. To better understand these limits, advanced measurement techniques are required to study the characteristics of laminar to turbulent boundary-layer transition. Recent NASA research indicates that the transition mode which involves laminar separation can be detected using arrayed hot-film laminar separation sensor concepts. These surface-mounted sensors can provide information on the location of the laminar separation bubble as well as bubble length. This paper presents two different laminar separation sensor configurations developed in the NASA program and presents results of wind-tunnel and flight evaluations of the sensors as tools to detect boundary-layer transition.
Technical Paper

Wind-Tunnel Investigation of a General Aviation Airplane Equipped With a High Aspect-Ratio, Natural-Laminar-Flow Wing

An investigation has been conducted in the Langley 30- by 60-Foot Wind Tunnel to evaluate the performance and stability and control characteristics of a full-scale general aviation airplane equipped with a natural-laminar-flow wing. The study focused on the effects of natural laminar flow and boundary layer transition, and on the effects of several wing leading-edge modifications designed to improve the stall resistance of the configuration. Force and moment data were measured over wide angle-of-attack and sideslip ranges and at Reynolds numbers from 1.4 × 106 to 2.1 × 106 based on the mean aerodynamic chord. Additional measurements were made using hot-film and sublimating-chemical techniques to determine the condition of the wing boundary layer, and wool tufts were used to study the wing stalling characteristics. The investigation showed that large regions of natural laminar flow existed on the wing which would significantly enhance the cruise performance of the configuration.
Technical Paper

Langley Research Center Resources and Needs for Manned Space Operations Simulation

Over the past three decades, the application of simulation facilities to manned space flight projects has increased chances of successful mission completion by revealing the capabilities and limitations of both man and machine. The Space Station era, which implies on-orbit assembly, heightened system complexity, and great diversity of operations and equipment, will require increased dependence on simulation studies to validate the tools and techniques being proposed. For this reason the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) undertook a survey of both the facilities available for and the research requiring such simulations. This paper was written to provide LaRC input to the SAE survey of simulation needs and resources. The paper provides a brief historial sketch of early Langley Research Center simulators, and the circumstances are described which resulted in a de-emphasis of manned simulation in 1971.
Technical Paper

Flight Test Results for Several Light, Canard-Configured Airplanes

Brief flight evaluations of two different, light, composite constructed, canard and winglet configured airplanes were performed to assess their handling qualities; one airplane was a single engine, pusher design and the other a twin engine, push-pull configuration. An emphasis was placed on the slow speed/high angle of attack region for both airplanes and on the engine-out regime for the twin. Mission suitability assessment included cockpit and control layout, ground and airborne handling qualities, and turbulence response. Very limited performance data was taken. Stall/spin tests and the effects of laminar flow loss on performance and handling qualities were assessed on an extended range, single engine pusher design.
Technical Paper

Orbiter Post-Tire Failure and Skid Testing Results

An investigation was conducted at the NASA Langley Research Center's Aircraft Landing Dynamics Facility (ALDF) to define the post-tire failure drag characteristics of the Space Shuttle Orbiter main tire and wheel assembly. Skid tests on various materials were also conducted to define their friction and wear rate characteristics under higher speed and bearing pressures than any previous tests. The skid tests were conducted to support a feasibility study of adding a skid to the orbiter strut between the main tires to protect an intact tire from failure due to overload should one of the tires fail. Roll-on-rim tests were conducted to define the ability of a standard and a modified orbiter main wheel to roll without a tire. Results of the investigation are combined into a generic model of strut drag versus time under failure conditions for inclusion into rollout simulators used to train the shuttle astronauts.
Technical Paper

A MACH 6 External Nozzle Experiment with Argon-Freon Exhaust Simulation

A scramjet exhaust simulation technique for hypersonic wind tunnel testing has been developed. Mixtures of Argon and Freon correctly match the inviscid simulation parameters of Mach number, static-pressure ratio, and the ratio of specific heats at the combustor exit location; this simulation is accomplished at significantly reduced temperatures and without combustion. An investigation of nozzle parametrics in a Mach 6 freestream showed that the external nozzle ramp angle, the cowl trailing-edge angle, an external nozzle flow fence and the nozzle static-pressure ratio significantly affected the external nozzle thrust and pitching moment as measured by the integration of surface-pressure data. A comparison of Argon-Freon and air exhaust simulation showed that the external nozzle thrust and pitching moment were in error by roughly a factor of 2 using air due to the incorrect match of the ratio of specific heats.
Technical Paper

Wingtip Vortex Turbine Investigation for Vortex Energy Recovery

A flight test investigation has been conducted to determine the performance of wingtip vortex turbines and their effect on aircraft performance. The turbines were designed to recover part of the large energy loss (induced drag) caused by the wingtip vortex. The turbine, driven by the vortex flow, reduces the strength of the vortex, resulting in an associated induced drag reduction. A four-blade turbine was mounted on each wingtip of a single-engine, T-tail, general aviation airplane. Two sets of turbine blades were tested, one with a 15° twist (washin) and one with no twist. The power recovered by the turbine and the installed drag increment were measured. A trade-off between turbine power and induced drag reduction was found to be a function of turbine blade incidence angle. This test has demonstrated that the wingtip vortex turbine is an attractive alternate, as well as an emergency, power source.
Technical Paper


This paper discusses a project for adapting advanced technology, much of it borrowed from the jet transport, to general aviation design practice. The NASA funded portion of the work began in 1969 at the University of Kansas and resulted in a smaller, experimental wing with spoilers and powerful flap systems for a Cessna Cardinal airplane. The objective was to obtain increased cruise performance and improved ride quality while maintaining the take-off and landing speeds of the unmodified airplane. Some flight data and research pilot comments are presented. The project was expanded in 1972 to include a light twin-engine airplane. For the twin there was the added incentive of a potential increase in single-engine climb performance. The expanded project is a joint effort involving the University of Kansas, Piper Aircraft Company, Robertson Aircraft Company, and Wichita State University. The use of a new high-lift Whitcomb airfoil is planned for both the wing and the propellers.
Technical Paper

Development of Airframe Design Technology for Crashworthiness

This paper describes the NASA portion of a joint FAA-NASA General Aviation Crashworthiness Program leading to the development of improved crashworthiness design technology. The objectives of the program are to develop analytical technology for predicting crashworthiness of structures, provide design improvements, and perform full-scale crash tests. The analytical techniques which are being developed both in-house and under contract are described and typical results from these analytical programs are shown. In addition, the full-scale testing facility and test program are discussed.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamics and Flying Qualities of Jet V/STOL Airplanes

A summary of information on airplane aerodynamics, ground effects, propulsion system aerodynamics, stability and control, and flying qualities of jet V/STOL airplanes - both direct jet lift and lift fan configurations is presented. The information is applicable to high-speed fighter-type airplanes. Research work in the following areas is reviewed: 1. Wind tunnel and other experimental research on jet-induced effects (including ground effects) on the aerodynamics and stability and control in the VTOL, STOL, hovering, and transition ranges of flight. 2. Experimental research on propulsion aerodynamics in the hovering and very low speed ranges of flight. 3. Flight-test experience on the flying qualities of several jet V/STOL airplanes.
Technical Paper

NASA Aerodynamic Research Applicable to Business Aircraft

A review is made of NASA aerodynamic research of interest to the designer of business aircraft. The results of wind-tunnel and flight studies of several current aircraft are summarized. The attainment of STOL performance is discussed and the effectiveness of several lift augmentation concepts is examined. Finally, the potentialities and problems of flight at and beyond the speed of sound are discussed.